Nothing heralds the start of Spring like a daffodil. They are such cheerful blooms, I can't resist picking up a bunch when I do my shopping, they really brighten up the studio. They are 'Springing' up all over the place, in the garden, on the verges and the hedgerows. 

So I thought today I would show you how I painted this little bunch....but let me warn you now, they may look bright, cheerful and welcoming, but they are not easy to paint.

First I chose the ones I wanted to immortalise in paint and sketched them onto watercolour paper.

Then I sprayed the paper, and dropped ( rather than splattered) yellow paint around where the blooms would be painted.

Dab off carefully any bits with kitchen roll if you fear you have gone too far, and then leave to dry completely, it gets much lighter when it dries, This I think is the kind of effect that makes watercolour special.

See how when it dries it sort of settles into the paper.

Now to start on the flowers themselves . I like to leave some whit of the paper to be the highlights. I am using a mix of yellows, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow and Indian yellow.

I also darken it with a touch of cadmium orange and or burnt sienna.

I add some darker tones while the paint is still wet.

Here can you see?

Now as the flower starts to emerge, and the paint starts to dry, my tones can get darker.

I also carry some of the yellow into the stem. I paint the papery collar around the stem, with yellow ochre and burnt umber.


I also use sap green on the stem, I darken the green with cobalt blue to give the stem a light and dark tone.

Then while things are drying I can start on another flower.

Working my way carefully across the flowers, assessing when I want to leave things to dry and when I want to drop more colour in.

On a painting like this you can work on more than one area at once.

The darks need to be dark enough to add definition and depth to the flowers. Look at daffodils and you can see how dark some parts can be.


Just the leaves and stems to go, and the all important stepping back to see if I've missed anything.

And I think I am done, a bunch of daffodils that will last forever x



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I just discovered you late last night! I really love your work and look forward to your blogs. You describe what you are doing nicely and are very good about sharing the colors that you use. The daffs will be my first try with you and I look forward to it eagerly. Thanks!

Treacy Curlin

I like you love to see the daffodil thriving, yellow is my favourite colour and I love to fill my home with daffs not only for colour but the smell they certainly make me smile.
Great blog, thank you for sharing what colour of yellows you use, very helpful as my painting of daffs looks rather flat.
While you wait for drying times do you let than happen naturally or do you use a dryer?
What do you do if you are naturally drying do you paint other things?

Diane Hayward

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